High Blood Pressure: The Silent Killer

by Fe Del Mundo Medical Center on June 17, 2017

Hypertension is not a stranger to a lot of people’s lives today. A study suggests that 25% of the world’s population has High Blood Pressure. With the mass production of junk food and other salted goodies, the world’s constant high salt diet and toxic environment in the workplace today, welcomes Hypertension with a big red carpet.

But how does one get Hypertension? Here’s how blood pressure works:

Blood Pressure: How it Works

When the heart pumps there’s a force that helps the blood to circulate around the body as much as it has to. This force is called a “Blood Pressure”. Such pressure is needed for every artery to regulate normal flow of blood to every part of the human body. It can either rise or fall according to the beat of the heart. These instances are called “Systolic Blood Pressure” and “Diastolic Blood Pressure”.

Systolic Blood Pressure pertains to the force when the heart contracts and pushes blood into the arteries. On the other hand, Diastolic Blood Pressure is when the heart is at rest in between beats.

The average measurement of Systolic Blood Pressure measures 90 to 120 mm Hg, while the Diastolic Blood Pressure has an average count between 60 and 80 mm Hg. Reading for normal blood pressure is around 120 over 80 mm Hg.

The heart adjusts to certain situations so that it can function according to what is required of it. For example, if the human produces thick blood, the heart is required to pump harder so it can force the liquid to flow properly around the circulatory system. That is why the average human salt diet of French fries, potato chips, heavy soy sauced meals, fatty foods and the like can produce the same result. Salt produces water redemption which results to an increase of blood volume that requires the heart to pump harder.

At the same time, stress can have a detrimental effect on blood pressure by producing certain hormones called Epinephrine, commonly known as Adrenaline, and the hormone Norepinephrine. These hormones caused by stress constrict key vessels that narrow the arteries which in return causes a disruption to the flow in the system.

On the other hand, blood vessels are made to handle these problems easily. The elastic fibers rooted in the blood vessels’ walls makes it volatile. But when the blood pressure is constantly over the reading of 140/90 or even higher, it’s a sign of a struggling heart.

This predicament is known as Hypertension.

How Hypertension Happens

When the blood vessels continue to undergo pressure for a prolonged time, it eventually strains the wall of the arteries and causes them to tear. Even a small tear can cause roadblocks in the vessels. This injured tissue gradually swells up and the inflammation will call White Blood Cells to repair the damage. Unfortunately, White Blood Cells are not the only thing it attracts.

This particular injury also attracts fat and cholesterol that circulate with blood and other substances. When fat latches on, it will eventually form a plaque that stiffens and thickens the inner wall. This condition is called, Atherosclerosis.

When the plaque breaks, a blood clot forms on top of the bigger tear caused by the damage. This blood clot eventually blocks the pipe that is most likely already congested to begin with. If the clot is bigger, it may also block the entire vessel preventing oxygen and nutrients to flow to other parts of the body.

In case the clot happens in a heart’s vessel, it can cause a heart attack. But if the clot forms in a blood vessel that cuts off the blood flow to the brain, it can cause stroke.

Danger Zone

Almost all Hypertensive patients are given medications to maintain blood pressure. These medicines can help “calm” the person’s blood pressure. If a person’s blood pressure is 140/90 or higher, he or she may not show dangerous symptoms yet. But if the blood pressure measure 180/110 or higher, it is required for the person to rest for a bit and take their blood pressure a few minutes later. Immediately call the nearest ambulance if blood pressure doesn’t normalize.

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